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Frequently Asked Questions

Gifted & Talented Education - Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

 

(This document is intended to provide guidelines for interpreting 704 Kentucky Administrative Regulation (KAR) 3:285. Programs for the gifted and talented. Kentucky Department of Education is here to assist in the implementation of this interpretation and/or the regulation.)

 

Gifted and Talented (GT)

Primary Talent Pool (PTP)

Gifted Student Service Plan (GSSP)

 

 

GIFTED & TALENTED STUDENTS

 

Q:  According to 704 KAR 3:285. Programs for the gifted and talented, what defines a GT student?

A:  According to state regulation for gifted and talented programs, a gifted and/or talented child is defined as a category of "exceptional students" who are identified as possessing demonstrated or potential ability to perform at an exceptionally high level in general intellectual aptitude, specific academic aptitude, creative or divergent thinking, psychosocial or leadership skills, or in the visual or performing arts.

 

PROGRAMMING FOR THE GIFTED & TALENTED

 

Q:  What should quality GT programming look like?

A:  In any school district, high quality gifted programming requires careful planning, maintenance, and evaluation. Quality GT programming necessitates: clearly articulated policies, procedures and services, primary through grade twelve; a grievance procedure through which a parent, guardian, or student may resolve a concern regarding the appropriate and adequate provision of primary talent pool services or services addressed in a formally identified gifted and talented student’s services plan; employment of properly certified and professionally qualified personnel; evidence of appropriate professional development for all personnel working with gifted and talented students; and equitable opportunities for consideration for services at the primary level and in each category of service in grades 4-12.

 

Q:  Can parents have input on local district programming for GT services?

A:  District policies and procedures shall ensure that a program evaluation process shall be conducted annually and shall address parent(s) attitudes toward the program.

 

Q:  Must a district assign a GT coordinator for the program?

A:  Yes. A district receiving state funding shall designate a properly endorsed GT program coordinator.

 

Q:  What are some of the duties of a GT program coordinator?

A:  Some duties include: the oversight of the district GT program; to serve as a liaison between the district and the state; to ensure internal compliance with state statutes and administrative regulation for GT programs; and to administer and revise the GT program budget.

 

CURRICULUM FOR GT STUDENTS

 

Q:  Should GT students have the same curriculum that is provided for all students?

A:  A comprehensive framework or course of study for GT students shall be based on a district or school’s curricula that shall be differentiated, supplemented or modified to assist students to further develop their individual interest, needs and abilities.

FORMAL IDENTIFICATION

 

Q:  When are students formally identified for gifted services?

A:  Initially, students may be formally identified in the fourth grade. Students who show evidence of giftedness any time during the school year or subsequent grade levels may also be considered. The district shall provide a system for continual diagnostic screening.

 

Q:  When screening for G/T students, is one instrument used?

A:  Screening for gifted and talented students must include all five categories of giftedness (general intellectual aptitude, specific academic aptitude, creative or divergent thinking, leadership, and the visual or performing arts). A district shall develop a system for searching the entire school population on a continuous basis for likely candidates for services using both informal and available formal, normed, standardized measures, including measures of nonverbal ability, in all areas.

 

Q:  What can be done if a parent/guardian feels their child has been missed during the identification process?

A:  A district must provide a petition system as a safeguard for a student who may have been missed during the identification process.

 

Q:  Can a formally identified GT student be reevaluated for giftedness?

A:  No. Once a student is formally identified, a student remains identified and receives gifted services until the student graduates from high school. A student’s service options may be reevaluated periodically, and is encouraged, as students’ interests, needs and abilities change over time.

 

Q:  If a child is identified as gifted in general intellectual intelligence, does it mean he/she is gifted in all areas of giftedness?

A:  No. General intellectual intelligence is one area of possible giftedness. There are five categories of giftedness recognized in Kentucky through regulation; general intellectual aptitude, specific academic aptitude, creative or divergent thinking, leadership, and the visual or performing arts. A student identified in one area does not directly indicate identification in another. Students may be identified in one area or several.

 

Q:  Can formal identification be accepted if a student comes from another school district in Kentucky?

A:  Yes. All students in Kentucky, according to the regulation governing gifted and talented programs, must be identified with at least three pieces of qualifying evidence. Therefore, the identification of GT and PTP students from other districts should be honored. Service options may need to be adjusted for those students coming from districts that have less stringent qualifying criteria.

 

Q:  Can formal identification be accepted for a student who moves from another state to Kentucky?

A:  No. In order to receive gifted and talented services, the student must meet the identification requirements according to Kentucky’s regulation. The students transferred records with evidence or qualifying test data that supports giftedness may be considered; but identification does not transfer from another state to Kentucky.

 

 

GIFTED STUDENT SERVICE PLAN (GSSP)

 

Q:  What is a GSSP?

A:  A GSSP is an educational plan that matches a formally identified gifted student’s (Grades 4-12) interests, needs, and abilities to differentiated service options and serves as the communication vehicle between the parents/guardians and school personnel.

 

Q:  Is a GSSP required for every GT student?

A:  Yes. Every formally identified student in grades 4-12 must have a GSSP. A parent/ guardian of a GT student shall be notified annually of services included in the GSSP and given access to specific procedures to follow in requesting a change in services.

 

Q:  May parents/guardians play a role in the development of the GSSP?

A:  Yes. A local school district shall implement a procedure to obtain information related to the interests, needs, and abilities of a GT student from the parent/guardian for use in determining appropriate services.

 

Q:  Is the school required to provide any feedback on students’ progress?

A:  Yes. The school personnel shall report students’ progress related to the GT services delineated in the GSSP at least once each semester.

 

PRIMARY TALENT POOL

 

Q:  What is the Primary Talent Pool?

A:  The Primary Talent Pool is a group of primary students (P1-P4; Kindergarten through Third Grade) informally selected as having characteristics and behaviors of a high potential learner and further diagnosed using a series of informal and formal measures to determine differentiated services during the primary program.

 

Q:  What is the benefit of selecting students for the PTP?

A:  The benefit of selecting students to participate in the PTP provides early enrichment for those students whose gifts and talents need to be nurtured in order for those talents to develop further. Additionally, talent development may assist in the formal identification process in fourth grade.

 

Q:  When students become eligible for formal identification in the fourth grade, are PTP students automatically identified as GT?

A:  PTP students are not automatically identified as GT once they reach the fourth grade. Specific and more stringent criteria must be met to formally identify a GT student.

 

Q:  Can formal testing be used to select students for the PTP?

A:  Yes. However, data from formal, normed measures shall not be used for the purpose of eliminating eligibility for services to a child in the primary program. Formal, normed measures may be used to discover and include eligible students overlooked by informal assessments.

 

Q:  Can a student be selected for the PTP one year and not the next?

A:  No. Once a student is in the PTP, the student remains in the talent pool until exiting the third grade (P4). Services may need to be periodically adjusted to fit the individual child’s specific needs.

 

Q:  Are parents/guardians to be notified that their child is in the PTP?

A:  There is no reference in the GT regulation that parents/guardians are to be notified of student selection for the PTP. Individual districts may decide whether to notify or not and this can be addressed in the district’s policies and procedures.

Q:  How are services delivered to PTP?

A:  For a student in the primary grades, services shall allow for continuous progress through a differentiated curriculum and flexible grouping and regrouping based on the individual needs, interests, and abilities of the student.  Emphasis on educating gifted students in the general primary classroom, shall not exclude the continued, appropriate use of resource services, acceleration options, or other specific service options.  A recommendation for a service shall be made on an individual basis.

 

SERVICE DELIVERY OPTIONS

 

Q:  What important information should parents/guardians know about GT service delivery options?

A:  Some important information to know: service options are to be provided primary through grade 12; services are to be differentiated to meet individual student needs; grouping and multiple service delivery options shall be utilized in a local district education plan; grouping formats shall include grouping for instructional purposes based on student interests, abilities and needs, including social and emotional; and there shall be multiple service options with no single service existing alone.

 

Q:  According to 704 KAR 3:285. Programs for the gifted and talented, what is differentiation?

A:  Differentiation is a method through which educators establish a specific, well thought out match between learner characteristics in terms of abilities, interests, and needs; and curriculum opportunities in terms of enrichment and acceleration options, which maximize learning experiences. Differentiated service options are educational experiences that extend, replace or supplement learning beyond the standard curriculum.

 

Q:  How are counseling services matched to the needs of gifted children?

A:  Recommended best practices suggest that a counselor with any GT students in his/her service population should be prepared to address the needs of those students. Counselors, by the nature of their work, are to be aware of the special needs of the GT population and should prepare through courses of professional development.

 

Q:  What services should be provided for a student identified in visual/performing arts and has no matching class in his/her schedule?

A:  All classroom teachers must be made aware of students’ identification area(s). Differentiation may be used in terms of interests, products, process, enriched content, etc. Other ideas include securing a mentor, providing a periodic pullout session, independent study, looking to individuals in the community, parents, school personnel, etc. All teachers’ input should be reflected on the students’ GSSP.

 

Q:  Are there any specific qualifications for a teacher who works with GT students?

A:  Direct services to GT students shall be provided by appropriately certified personnel having an endorsement for GT education.

 

Q:  Is it good practice to allow a GT child to tutor another child?

A:  If your goal is continuous progress, do not use a GT child as a tutor. If a GT child has mastered a concept or skill, and is partnered with a struggling student, the GT student will not learn anything more by tutoring. However, leadership or other skills may be enhanced, but not the mastered concept or skill.

 

Q:  What recourse does a parent/guardian have if there is a concern regarding appropriate and adequate provision of talent pool services or GT services addressed in a student services plan?

A:  A school district shall establish a grievance procedure through which a parent, guardian or student may resolve the concern(s). It is recommended that parents and school districts work together to meet the needs of the individual child.

 

POLICIES/PROCEDURES

 

Q:  Can a district write more stringent and/or specific guidelines than those outlined in 704 KAR 3:285 Programs for the gifted and talented?

A:  Policies and procedures can be written to reflect individual district population and need. The guidelines in 704 KAR 3:285 are minimal requirements.

 

Q:  Can a parent/guardian have access to the district policies and procedures for GT programming?

A:   A local school district shall have in operation, and available for public inspection, local board approved policies and procedures which address each requirement in the administrative regulation for GT programming.

 

 

 

 

 

References:

·          704 Kentucky Administrative Regulation (KAR) 3:285. Programs for the gifted and talented.

·          Primary Talent Pool Frequently Asked Questions; A Publication of the Kentucky Advisory Council for Gifted & Talented Education & the Kentucky Department of Education

·          KDE Website: http://www.education.ky.gov/KDE/Instructional+Resources/Gifted+and+Talented/

 

 

Dr. Greg Finkbonner, Gifted and Talented Consultant

Kentucky Department of Education

500 Mero St.

Frankfort, KY 40601

502.564.4970 ext. 4108

Greg.Finkbonner@education.ky.us                                                          Updated: February 14, 2011